Dutch swimmer Sharon van Rouwendaal swam near a lifetime best in the women’s 200 free on Friday at the 2015 Romanian International, and coupled that with a negative-split swim in the 100 meter backstroke as competition continued in Bucharest.
While the swims weren’t as eye-grabbing as her 1500 free on Thursday that broke the Dutch National Record by 12 seconds, van Rouwendaal exclaimed after the evening session that she was “happy with her races today,” which seemed to be due mostly to the manner in which she clocked them
In the 200 free, van Rouwendaal split a 59.2 and a 1:00.3 per 100 meters en route to a 1:59.60 victory. That’s the first time that she’s ever broken two minutes outside of the borders of her home country, and is close to the splitting that she typically has when her final times are in this range. Tight spreads in the shorter races are a good sign for her as she continues to make a push in the longer 800 and 1500 meter freestyles and the open water races.
Van Rouwendaal went full negative-split in the 100 meter backstroke final where she swam 1:02.8 with partials of 31.6/31.2. Remember that early in her career, van Rouwendaal was primarily a backstroker, and as she’s become more proficient in the longer freestyle events, her 100 backstroke has suffered. All that to say that while this time wasn’t close to her lifetime best, it’s not far from her season-best, and appeared to be swum with the intention of negative splitting (which she doesn’t usually do in the 100). That makes this a successful swim.
In other action on Friday, the young Romanian Daniel Martin continued an impressive meet of his own. He broke his own 15-year olds National Age Record with a 57.34 in the 100 meter backstroke – clearing his old record of 57.94. Despite not aging up until October, at this meet he’s now broken National Records in the 50 back, 100 back, 100 fly (twice), and the 200 fly (faster both than all 15-and-16 year olds in the country’s history).